Fujifilm continues ‘aggressive’ expansion with $890m site purchase

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Foryou13)
(Image: Getty/Foryou13)

Related tags Fujifilm diosynth biotechnologies Biogen Denmark

Fujifilm continues investment in its manufacturing capabilities through the acquisition of a large-scale biologics site from Biogen.

The site, based in Hillerød, Denmark, is designed to manufacture cell culture-derived biologics and will be used to supplement Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies’s current capacity as a contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO).

With six 15,000L bioreactors, the $890m (€789m) investment will ‘significantly expand’ existing capacity and take the total number of the company’s sites to four including locations in the UK and the US.

Shigetaka Komori, CEO of Fujifilm, said, “This significant investment demonstrates our continued commitment to grow the bio CDMO business and become an industry leader by combining resources of Biogen Hillerød and Fujifilm.”

The site acquisition will allow the CDMO to provide services to companies looking to retain the same partner through pre-clinical to commercialisation work, with its ability to produce at ‘very small’ to ‘very large’ production volumes.

Biogen’s site is able to manufacture biologics and biosimilars, as well as provide labelling and packing services for completed products.

Fujifilm explained the purchase is part of its current ‘scale out’ manufacturing model, which has seen it make a number of acquisitions and investments in recent years. Notably, it paid $800m to acquire cell culture media firm, Irvine Scientific, in 2018​, and added 6,000L of capacity​ to its Texas plant.

The company stated in its most recent announcement that it has “aggressively invested”​ in capacity and capability expansion, and plans to continue to do.

For Biogen’s part, it announced that the divestment of manufacturing capacity would be mitigated by the opening of its $1.2bn manufacturing facility in Solothurn​, Switzerland. It expects this site to be operational by the end of 2020 and, during the intervening period, Biogen will rely on an existing facility in North Carolina, US, to manage its manufacturing needs.

The acquisition is expected to complete in the second half of 2019. There are approximately 800 employees at the site and Fujifilm stated that it expects to retain this workforce.

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